The weekend after New Ways Ministry’s Eighth National Symposium, “Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis,” I was reading an op-ed essay in the New York Times, and my mind reeled back to that meeting held in Chicago on the last weekend of April.
I was surprised that the essay would conjure up a memory of the symposium, since, on the surface, the text had nothing to do with Catholic or LGBT issues. Yet, on another level, I saw the essay was, in fact, speaking to the core of the Catholic LGBT conversation–or, perhaps, I should say lack of conversation.
The op-ed essay in question was entitled “How Censorship Works,” and it was written by a Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist, whose name had recently been removed from several of his works by government officials at exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai. The essay is an insightful analysis of the ways that censorship operates in a contemporary culture which seems to prize and valorize free expression.
The relationship between the L.G.B.T. Catholic community and the Catholic Church in the United States has been at times contentious and combative, and at times warm and welcoming. Much of the tension characterizing this complicated relationship results from a lack of communication and, sadly, a good deal of mistrust, between L.G.B.T. Catholics and the hierarchy. What is needed is a bridge between that community and the church.
I invite you to walk with me on that important bridge. To that end, I would like to reflect on both the church’s outreach to the L.G.B.T. community and the L.G.B.T. community’s outreach to the church. Because good bridges take people in both directions.
Source: America Magazine
Last month, one of Commonweal magazine’s cover features was a pair of articles from two theologians on the topic “The Church and Transgender Identity: Some Cautions, Some Possibilities.” The theologians were David Cloutier, associate professor of theology at the Catholic University of America and the author of Walking God’s Earth: The Environment and Catholic Faith (Liturgical Press); and Luke Timothy Johnson, emeritus Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Emory University and the author of The Revelatory Body: Theology as Inductive Art (Eerdmans).
In today’s post, Bondings 2.0 will present Cloutier’s argument, and tomorrow we will present Johnson’s perspective.
If we think of the pairing of these two articles as representing a pro and con position, Cloutier’s essay would have to be put into the con column. I’m not sure that this is a totally fair assessment, though, for while Cloutier clearly questions a lot of transgender discourse, another dimension that comes through his essay is some sensitivity to people who identify as transgender. He seems interested in finding a way that understands and respects them, even though it is obvious that he does not approve of what he sees as underlying assumptions of a lot of transgender equality rationales.
Source: Bondings 2.0
In her sermon on the last Sunday of Black History Month, the Rev. Maria Swearingen preached about her belief that black lives, “queer lives,” and immigrant lives matter.
And since it also was Transfiguration Sunday, she pointed to the story in the Gospel of Matthew where God declared Jesus “beloved.” That is a term, she said, that can be used for everyone.
They met on OkCupid. At the time, Constantino Khalaf, now 37, lived in New York City, and David Khalaf, now 39, lived in Los Angeles. But the distance didn’t faze them. The couple, now married, had found two shared traits in each other: They were both Christian, and they were both waiting until marriage to have sex.
“You can use sex to control someone or denigrate a person. Or you can use sex to say something beautiful like ‘I love you,'” Constantino Khalaf said. “Sex can be used to say ‘I am yours, you are mine’ — the idea of a marriage covenant.”
Their beliefs in sex are rooted in a theology of marriage that reserves sexual intimacy until they make that sacred covenant. In a traditional evangelical sexual ethic, virginity is meant to be a gift for your partner after the sacred marriage covenant — a belief that is interpreted to be a biblical directive.
Read more at NBC News
Hatred, violence and exclusion are not Christian. It follows that nor is homophobia. Here is some good news on combating faith based homophobia from a Caribbean bishop:
Bishop Holder for support of LGBT
ONE OF THE REGION’S most prominent Christian leaders has denounced the actions of members of the faith who ridicule and condemn those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
At a press conference yesterday, he held fast to the province’s position that every human being should be treated as a child of God irrespective of their sexual orientation.
And he described as “sad” Christians who ridiculed other human beings and “give the impression that they are children of the devil and not children of God”. (WILLCOMM)
– See more at : NationNews Barbados
The experience of LGBTQ people in the church is often fraught with conflict. When a person comes out, their newfound safety in God comes often at the expense of safety within their community. To […]